Objective: Copper Mountain 8,966.
Stats: 4.2 miles, 2,100ft gain in 3:30 round trip. Strava track.
Gear notes: Snowshoes.
Links: Idaho: A Climbing Guide.
I was looking for a relativity mellow, dare I say easy peak that wasn't going to be a long drive. I've been eyeing the peaks around the Banner Summit area since it's well known for its outstanding access during winter, hence Copper Mountain being well known as a back country ski destination. There are several peaks that caught my eye, but I figured I might as well just go for Copper since it was my first peak in the area. The weather was forecast to have a winter storm roll in about 11am, so I was racing the clock just a tad. Copper seemed to be a pretty straight forward route which would make for easier route finding if the weather got real bad.
I parked at the turnout closer to Bull Trout Lake, on the west side of Hwy21, hopped to the east side, strapped on the slow(snow)shoes and and got to it. Down low in the trees there isn't much of a view, so there was no point in stopping for pictures.
Okay, maybe just one...
There are a few options to get to the top of this bad boy. My route was the West Ridge. Not the most interesting but it's always great to be in a new area.
There is a twisty tree on the ridge that is kinda cool.
After a bit of leg work, the trees start to thin and the views open up. I could see the jagged peaks of the interior of the Sawtooth Range, but the clouds were closing fast so that only lasted for about five minutes.
|Mid mountain. Good snow for sliding.|
Once out of the thick of the trees you're able to zero in on the top.
|Looking south at Peak 8848.|
Only that's not the actual top. Keep traversing east to get the high point. But mind the cornice's!
And finally, that view. Or what was left of it anyway...
|Looking northeast. I think its Cabin Creek Peak.|
I think this is Cabin Creek Peak, but I'm probably wrong so please correct me.
|Peak 9220 sits on the east end of the ridge.|
|Cornice's on the summit.|
The upper exposed sections of the mountain provided no protection from the wind. Once I was back in the trees, I was able to stop for a minute and take in a few calories. I retraced my route back to the car.